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European Congresses 'Living in the Encounter'
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4th European congress 'Living in the Encounter'

The Hague 2008

Der Leuchtturm von Scheveningen

On October 27th ended the 4th European Intercultural Congress for people with disabilities ‘The tide is turning’ in the series ‘Living in the Encounter’. About 500 people mostly with an intellectual disability and 200 companions, from 18 European countries, India and the United States of America participated in the congress that was held under the title ‘The tide Is turning’. It took place in the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague, Netherlands.

From 20 countries people had travel to The Hague! They came from East- and West-, North- and South- and Middle-Europe. And even from Asia and America! Here are the countries in alphabetical order: Austria, Belgium, England, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Moldova, the Netherlands, Northern-Ireland, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, United States of America.

10 years of European congresses for people with special needs

For co-workers and family members it is a normal thing to attend congresses. But for people with special needs themselves there were no chances to do that, therefore some people set up the initiative 'Living in the Encounter' in 1996.

Since then congresses only for people with special needs take place at regular intervals and in different places. Companions only enable the participation. Up to now already three congresses have taken place: in 1998 in Berlin, Germany, in 2001 in Dornach, Switzerland and in 2005 in Prague, Czechia with up to 600 participants each.

The increasing demand points out the significance of these venues for a subgroup with an everyday life often related with isolation, disadvantage and rejection.

The congresses are arranged as a free initiative out of the impulse of anthroposophical community-building.

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